Last night our local host, Vivi, surprised us with an impromptu field trip to the Confucius Temple.  I was expecting a quiet, historical area for contemplation, and boy, was I surprised when our taxi dropped us in an area that looked more like a Chinese Los Vegas.  Every building was light up with a neon sign, and people swarmed the streets weaving in between the men with rickshaws begging tourists to take a ride and vendors selling exotic meats shish-kabob style.  


All of the lights and excitement made for some beautiful night time photography.  Especially when we crossed a bridge over Qin Huai River and the lights from the temple created a watery rainbow reflection in the river.  After a few touristy moments of taking photos, Vivi led us to an area with several restaurants.  She explained what each place offered and we chose to a traditional restaurant.  We were all so grateful to her once we sat down and looked over the menu.  Nothing was in English and no pictures!  We left the ordering to Vivi, who did an amazing job.  We dined on tender pork meatballs, spicy pork ribs, dumplings and vegetables and of course a beer to wash down anything that challenged our taste buds.  For the most part everything was delicious, except for the chicken and tofu soup.  The tofu, appropriately called Stinky Tofu left quite an odd aftertaste in my mouth.  


After dinner we took a cab back to our hotel, an experience a kin to riding Space Mountain at Walt Disney World.  Our cabby weaved in and out of traffic lanes yelling out the window at bicycles and pedestrians.  I tried not to look out the front windshield to avoid experiencing heart failure.  Luckily it wasn't too long of a drive, and only cost about one US dollar.  

Arriving back at the hotel around 11 p.m. certainly felt odd, after getting so used to quarantine.  I do have to apologize for the majority of my blogs being about food.  But seeing as how we are restricted to going out except for meals, there's not much else to talk about.  Plus, I find their cuisine here pretty fascinating.  I mean where else can you find cow's stomach, pork meatballs, and stinky tofu on the same plate!